Last weekend, my family and I spent some time at the beach on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. While we were there, we visited Assateague Island where we caught a group of wild ponies enjoying a beautiful evening on the beach. With the group was an older foal, which was kept nearby the adults.
The ponies leisurely walked down the shoreline, giving me plenty of time pull out my camera and snap a few photos. The beach at Assateague is much nicer than in Ocean City, MD, as it’s more natural, has fewer people, and the sand itself is easier on your feet.
After the ponies passed, a few of us spent time hopping waves and collecting seashells. As I mentioned above, the sand is very fine, so it feels wonderful underfoot. Where the waves break, however, there are a lot of shells and rocks, but that makes it ideal for finding some nice ones. Out past the surf, the fine sand continues for a long ways before dropping off.
You may notice that the ponies have a bulging belly that normal horses do not exhibit. We read that this is due to drinking salt water. Some literature that they handed us when we entered the park said that the horses adapted and can now sustain themselves largely on salty water.
The park limits the number of ponies that live on the island to only what the vegetation on the island can sustain. Nevertheless, in all of the years I’ve visited Assateague, we have never left without seeing at least one pony. Most times, you see several herds from your car just by driving the short loop that goes throughout the island. Have you been to Assateague? Comments welcome!